On June 18, 2019, the Washington Post published An expert’s testimony about a bloody towel helped win murder convictions. But it wasn’t blood. This case shows incredible similarities to what we think can happen with Leroy’s case. Attorney Michael J. Malloy has been saying all along that Justice for Leroy simply means reopening the case and considering the lack of evidence, the inconsistencies in the evidence even in 1980, and the new statement by the confessed actual killer, Anthony Jones.
Delaware County District Attorney Katayoun Copeland, up for reelection this year, has consistently refused to recognize this form of Justice. In the Connecticut case this week, we instead see what a just court does when the evidence does not line up with the crime from decades ago, and when new technologies are available to provide accurate and reliable results. This also shows the difference between a prosecutor who values the rights of all of its citizens, including those accused and even convicted, versus one who ignores the cries of justice from specific communities.

The WaPo article describes a case eerily similar to Leroy’s, wherein a truly vicious murder was described in the court proceedings as a bloody crime, yet the blood and DNA evidence, even then, did not line up with the story built by the prosecution. When looking at the evidence in 1985, as well as in 2019, defense attorneys for the two convicted men simply asked: Where was all the blood? At the time of the original trial, the key witness for the state created a story that the men cleaned up with a towel, on which there was only a small red spot.

As in Leroy’s case, it was irresponsible of the prosecution to overemphasize this “cleaned up” storyline, as no other evidence existed to explain why two boys had no blood on them after purportedly stabbing someone 27 times! In Leroy’s case, Jones’ original, and damning testimony – that Leroy bludgeoned Emily Leo with an iron – was wholly unsupported by the evidence. There was no blood inside or outside, on Leroy’s belongings, or on his clothes. There wasn’t even an iron! Yet the prosecutors repeatedly constructed the story of a bloody crime scene, and Leroy’s seemingly superhuman ability to clean it!

Leroy’s case, like that of Ralph Birch and Shawn Henning, is slowly moving through the courts. We hope that a responsible prosecutor would, as in Connecticut, move to reopen the case to consider the lack of evidence and to use 21st-century testing to look for DNA. We hope that Leroy’s happy ending comes soon.
In the meantime, the current Delco DA feels it’s in her election-interest to ignore the facts and her community in Chester. Leroy and his community need your voice. Please reach out to her, your friends, family, and, if you live in Delaware County this Fall, VOTE.

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